Gingerbread Cookies

Recipe by Dianne Herring
Photography by Brian W. McDonald

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 stick butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/4 cup molasses
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, additional for dusting work surface
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Using an electric mixer at low speed, cream brown sugar and butter until thoroughly combined. Add eggs and molasses, mixing until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture, stirring with a spoon or spatula. Remove dough from the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap; place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, or until firm. 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Let dough sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until pliable. Roll about 1/2 cup of dough at a time onto a floured surface until about 1/8-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut dough into gingerbread men. Re-roll scraps. Using a spatula, transfer cookies from the floured surface to prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges begin to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Red-nosed reindeer:

Turn gingerbread men upside down and decorate with the following ingredients to create reindeer.

Red mini M&M’s, for nose
Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, for eyes
White icing, for eyes, antlers and ears, Wilton Decorator recommended
Black icing, for mouth, Wilton Decorator recommended